Colon Cancer Screening

Understanding Colon Cancer Screening

Approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States and nearly 50,000 people die from the disease. These are unfortunate statistics because colorectal cancer is highly preventable and screening tests can find polyps or cancers before they are even large enough to cause any symptoms. Early detection means that the cancer can be more effectively treated. When considering colon cancer screening, we will work with you to choose the test that’s right for you.

Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy screening exam may detect polyps (small growths on the lining of the colon). Removal of these polyps by biopsy or other means results in a major reduction in your likelihood of developing colorectal cancer in the future.

Colonoscopy is almost always done on an outpatient basis. You will receive intravenous sedation/anesthesia before the procedure to help you relax. During the procedure, a flexible, slender tube is inserted into the rectum to look inside the large intestine (colon). The test is safe and the procedure itself typically takes less than 45 minutes.

Watch Preparing for a Colonoscopy from the American Gastroenterological Association.

Watch the educational video, Questions to Ask for a High-Quality Colonoscopy, from the American Gastroenterological Association.